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'Scam' Duo Must Have Made Pal Die Laughing

The check-cashing store where the crime took placeEven for the once-notorious Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, it may have been a first: Two men were arrested on Tuesday after pushing a corpse, seated in an office chair, along the sidewalk to a check-cashing store to cash the dead man’s Social Security check, the police said.

When Virgilio Cintron, 66, died recently, his roommate and a friend saw an opportunity to cash his $355 check, the police said.

They did not go about it the easy way, the police said, choosing a ruse that resembled the plot of “Weekend at Bernie’s,” a film about two young men who prop up their dead employer to pretend that he is alive.

The roommate, James P. O’Hare, and his friend, David J. Dalaia, both 65 and unemployed, placed Mr. Cintron’s body in the chair and wheeled it to Pay-O-Matic, about a block away, and parked it at the entrance.

They then went inside to present the check, but a clerk said Mr. Cintron would have to cash it himself, and asked where he was. “He is outside,” Mr. O’Hare said, indicating the body in the chair.

The two men started to bring the chair inside, but it was too late. Their sidewalk procession had already attracted the stares of passers-by who were startled by the sight of the body flopping from side to side as the two men tried to prop it up, the police said.

The two men were taken into custody and questioned. The police said they were considering charging them with check-cashing fraud.

News report after the jump.

Video: Fox5
Source: New York Times
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